I guess "crack my jaded shell a bit" humorously means "hurt my precious brain a bit". Am I on the right track? Searching the phrase turned out to be returning back the NYTimes article.
So far, so predictable. But speaking as a cynical observer of the Trump era, one feature of November did crack my jaded shell a bit: not his behavior or the system’s response, but the sheer scale of the belief among conservatives that the election was really stolen, measured not just in polling data but in conversations and arguments, online and in person, with people I would not have expected to embrace it.